“It was a bad preposterous judjment by the president of the United States. [Defense] Secretary [Mark] Esper, very competent and qualified guy. General [Mike] Milley, years in combat, all he’s done is fight. They know what they are doing. Can you imagine what was going on in their mind listening to the president of the United States talking about bombing UNESCO sites and antiquities?” McCaffrey asked in an interview with MSNBC, referring to Trump’s threat on “52 Targets” in Iran which Washington said would strike if Tehran revenged the assassination of its elite general.
“I mean the whole nation that here in the United States we’d had the marines guarding the smithsonian, you know, museum. So, the president’s judjment has been appalling,” the general stated.
McCaffrey noted that “I got scared to death on what transpired. He watched that funeral for General Soleimani, and it scared me”, after millions of Iranians occupied the streets across the country to pay tribute toGeneral Soleimani, praising him as a “hero” of the nation and burning flags of the United States.
“We don’t want war with Iran, and politicaly it will be devastating to him personally,” he stressed, expressing hope that the American leader would take a reasonable course.
American General Underlines Iran’s Upper Hand on Ground to Retaliate Against US over Assassination of Gen. Soleimanihttps://t.co/5c3ozaycQN pic.twitter.com/OPmTHPhBGU— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) January 5, 2020
Iranian officials branded the airstrike an “act of international terrorism” and promised retaliation. Iran has time and again warned that it will not be the initiator of any war, but reserves the right to self defense and will give a crushing response to any act of aggression by the United States.
On Wednesday, Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two American military bases in Iraq in retaliation for Washington’s assassination of Tehran’s elite commander, warning of further strikes against the Unted States.
Tehran Holds Huge Funeral Procession for General Soleimani pic.twitter.com/7sFujnaWqa— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) January 6, 2020
Tensions around Iran have been rising since Trump torpedoed the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sweeping sanctions targeting large swathes of Iran’s economy. Later, Washington raised the stakes in the standoff, sending additional military assets – including a carrier strike group, a bomber task force, and Patriot missiles – to countries bordering Iran. The conflict between Washington and Tehran hit record highs after an intruding American spy drone was shot down by the IRGC in Iranian sky.
As a reaction to the US unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018 and its subsequent sanctions on Tehran and in a response to Europe’s sluggishness to save Iran’s interests under the deal, Iran started modifying its nuclear deal undertakings in May. Tehran has rowed back on its nuclear commitments fifth times in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the 2015 deal.